Red Country by Joe Abercrombie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read Joe Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. I’ve been meaning to read some more of his work since then and I finally decided to pick up Red Country because it was getting a lot of praise.
I liked it quite well, but I don’t think I liked it as well as the First Law trilogy. It was really very good in many ways, but I didn’t think the story was quite as interesting. It certainly wasn’t bad, but it felt a little aimless at times.
The characters were solid. I liked Shy, Temple, and Dab Sweet all well enough. They were fairly diverse and interesting. Lamb was my favorite of course. I don’t want to give anything away, but those who have read the First Law trilogy will be thrilled by Lamb I’m sure.
I wasn’t that excited about Cosca though. He was also in the First Law trilogy, but to a lesser extent. He was just such a repulsive character, I really got tired of him by the end.
Perhaps the best part of the novel was the setting. It definitely had a “wild west” feel to it even though it was set within the same world as the First Law trilogy. I thought that was pretty cool.
Regardless of all of the connections to the First Law trilogy, this novel is a standalone and I don’t think you would need to read the trilogy first. If you have, then there will be a number of connections that you’ll get, but if you haven’t, I don’t think it would really matter.
Overall, I liked Red Country. It was an interesting and entertaining read. It was definitely a bit different than other fantasy novels that I’ve read, largely due to the setting, and that was kind of refreshing. Recommended.